30 October 2009

Storytelling in science, part 2

Earlier this week, I commented about the importance of stories, and how denialists of science have a lock on the “little guy fighting the establishment” story. I mused about what the counter story is to that.

As much as I hate to suggest this, I think I have one.

Zombie apocalypse.

You face an world of dangers that are slow and stupid but many and unrelenting. You have limited resources. If you let your guard down, that’s it. If you don’t have the weapons and some knowledge and a little technology, you’re done.

The zombies are the natural world, always throwing up little surprises like a new strain of H1N1 virus. We are finding out to our peril that some of our resources really are limited, or pose their own threat, like fossil fuels.


We’re the ones with shotguns and a stash of shells, baby.

Zombie apocalypse go-to guy
We have decided to fight and we might just be able to help a lot of other people. When the shit hits the fan, the chips are down, you want scientists on your side, because they just might be the only thing standing between you and a a messy end.

(And for the record, I repeat: I hate zombie fiction! But happy Hallowe’en weekend, anyway!)

Picture from here. And yes, I put this up in full knowledge that I will never be one tiny fraction of that bad-ass.

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